Logan Jackson, E’16, is used to pushing the limits of what’s possible.
She arrived at Northeastern from a Kentucky high school she described as “a dropout factory”—a place where more than half the students fail to reach basic proficiency. Yet Jackson excelled at Northeastern, earning a 4.0 average in the demanding field of civil engineering.
She attributes her success to her mother’s motto—“take the initiative”—and the strong female role models in her family. Her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all graduated from college, a phenomenon she calls “a rarity among African Americans in the United States.”
She honored her mother’s dictum by becoming president of the Northeastern Society of Black Engineers, playing viola in the school’s symphony orchestra, completing co-ops with three leading construction companies, and venturing to Iceland to study renewable energy at the University of Reykjavik.
As Northeastern’s first Rhodes Scholar, Jackson will now take her talents to Oxford University in England. The award covers all expenses for three years of postgraduate study. It is based on academics, leadership, teamwork, and community service.
Although trained as an engineer, Jackson plans to circle back to her roots by earning a dual master’s degree in education and social policy. Her goal is to apply her formidable analytical skills to improving educational equity for students in poorly performing schools.
This passion was fueled by her extensive community service while at Northeastern—mentoring students at two Boston public schools and running a yearlong Saturday program teaching math and science to African American boys.
“By the end of the program, some of them wanted to be doctors and teachers,” Jackson says. “You feel like you’re making a difference.”
Photo: Brooks Canaday